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Earthsky Tonight, January 17, 2010 Moon and Jupiter set as Mars rises
Posted By Gary Wamsley On January 17, 2010 @ 11:33 am In Earth & Sky | Comments Disabled
Courtesy of EarthSky
A Clear Voice for Science
Tonight and tomorrow  night, the moon will guide you to the two brightest planets in the January evening sky – Jupiter and Mars.
As darkness falls, look low in your west or southwest sky for the thin waxing crescent moon . That blazing point of light by the moon is the planet Jupiter. You can’t miss Jupiter – it’s far brighter than any star.
The moon and Jupiter set shortly after full darkness falls – even earlier as seen from Earth’s southern hemisphere. At mid-northern latitudes – like in the US – Jupiter sets about 2.5 hours after sunset . At mid-southern latitudes – like in Australia – Jupiter sets around 1.5 hours after the sun.
As the moon and Jupiter are sinking in the west in early evening, turn in the opposite direction – toward the east – and watch for the red planet Mars to ascend over your eastern horizon. At mid-northern latitudes, they’ll both be visible around 2 hours after sunset.
Mars isn’t as bright as Jupiter now, but this reddish world is still plenty bright – as bright as the brightest stars.
The brightness and reddish color of Mars can help you recognize it. Also, keep in mind that Mars tends to shine with a steady light, while the stars are more apt to twinkle. With an unobstructed horizon, it’ll be possible to see both planets – Jupiter in the west and Mars in the east – in early evening. Mars will be at its closest to Earth for this entire year later this month. This planet is at its best about every two years – and now’s the time. So watch for Mars – a reddish light, shining steadily, ascending in the east each evening now.
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URL to article: http://www.berthoudrecorder.com/2010/01/17/earthsky-tonight-january-17-2010-moon-and-jupiter-set-as-mars-rises/
URLs in this post:
 www.EarthSky.org: http://www.EarthSky.org
 Image: http://www.berthoudrecorder.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/10jan17_430.jpg
 tomorrow: http://www.earthsky.org/tonighthome/2010-01-18/url
 waxing crescent moon: http://www.earthsky.org/tonightpost/moon-phases/waxing-crescent
 sunset: http://www.earthsky.org/tonightpost/astronomy-essentials/sunrisesunset-moonrisemoonset-almanacs
 Why is Mars sometimes bright and sometimes faint?: http://www.earthsky.org/faqpost/space/why-is-mars-sometimes-bright-and-sometimes-faint
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